Use of Pan Tilt Zoom PTZ Cameras in Surveillance Systems.

Why and where it is justified to use PTZ Surveillance Camera? Pan Tilt Zoom Cameras known as PTZ Cameras are the only surveillance cameras with the option of panning tilting and zooming in one package. We do see box cameras with a optical zoom capability, but those do not move. They stay fixed in one position. In my opinion, they really make o sense, because when you zoom in, you dramatically reduce field of view of the camera and unless object is in exact center, by zooming in, you will loose the view. That’s why cameras with zoom only make sense if you can move the camera to follow the object or aim it at the object when zooming in. PTZ seems lie a great feature and often new customers want to “jump on it” right away. But here is a thing, unless you use your PTZ Camera for real time surveillance, meaning you are actually there to operate it, installing PTZ camera is often unjustified. Cost of a PTZ Camera equals often 5 times the cost of fixed camera. So the question is, will you get more by using PTZ Camera. Well, it depends. Let’s use a real life example. Let’s take a any large supermarket. With PTZ Camera security can easily follow suspect, zoom in and capture much more details than with the fixed cameras. So in this case PTZ Camera operated by security guard, is a really good idea and there is no number of fixed cameras that could replace it. PTZ Cameras are often used to monitor processes in different manufacturing plants, electric plants etc. This is a perfect use of the features of PTZ Camera. But unfortunately we see a lot of PTZ Cameras mounted on the buildings (usually government buildings) where PTZ feature of the Camera is never or almost never used. Those cameras are in fact doing exactly the same thing as fixed camera would do with fraction of the price of a PTZ Camera. In other cases we see PTZ Cameras being used along with their Pattern/Swing or Preset feature. What it means, we can set most of the PTZ Cameras to constantly scan the area by using pre-set positions or moves. It is a neat feature, but while scanning the area we can only really see part of the area for only few seconds. This means, that there is a large blind spot which constantly moves. So wouldn’t be better to use few fixed cameras and have a constant coverage of all the area? In most cases yes. So my point is that PTZ Cameras offer great benefits if they are being deployed where those extra features can really be used. Unfortunately in many cases PTZ Cameras end up being just a very expensive fixed camera.

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10 Years experience in surveillance, CCTV, access control.
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